Ozymandias of Egypt – Percy Bysshe Shelley


I think this sums up the saying ‘Nothing lasts forever.’  I find these words a comforting thought – great rulers, what rulers?




I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

By Percy Bysshe Shelley
Read more of his poetry


8 thoughts on “Ozymandias of Egypt – Percy Bysshe Shelley

  1. I have been browsing and really must stop now, before I OD on all the treats of your rich blog! I guess this is as good a place as any to leave my comment, as this is a favorite poem of mine….It was nice to see the video and hear the words……and I agree: what immortality? 🙂

    1. Haha!! I’ve never heard of anyone overdosing on my blog before, but it’s nice to know it’s interesting – thank you! 🙂

      It’s a bold and truthful statement, and that’s what I really liked about this poem. And the fact that rulers of the past, and present seem to think so highly of themselves to one degree or another, it’s all quite crazy to enlarge heads with illusion of greatness. Nothing lasts in this world, mortality definitely rules!

      I originally had a video of Sir John Gielgud reading this, he really read it very well, but it was taken down from You Tube eventually. But I was thrilled to find this video, it really comes across as a miniature story, very pleased you enjoyed it, and thanks for taking the time to let me know Cynthia. 🙂

    1. Immortality? What immortality!? 🙂 Humans are like butterflies, here today, gone tomorrow, we just have try and enjoy it while we are stuck here! Trying to convince others that one of those butterflies has God status is laughable! That still exists today, just done in a different way now! 😆 I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Thank you! Yes I’ve realised that, coming across some of these poetry videos, that it does have a slowing down effect, makes you ‘feel’ the poem more. But there doesn’t seem to be very many great ones out there, some just terrible! 😀

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